Thursday, September 30, 2010

20 years later and still the winner!

I've just been thinking about my sweet hubby this week. Lots of mushy silly things that I will spare you from. But I will say, He works SO hard for us. He is SO funny and patient with me. I love him more everyday. And that's saying a lot. Zeke and I met in middle school and we did NOT like each other at all. Heck, I was only 11 years old! But then when I was 14, I remember going to BYU with the Math Team one day and well, the moment Zeke walked on that bus, I was totally smitten! (Did I mention he was wearing acid-washed jeans and a jacket to match? uh-huh!)

I was laughing with my children the other night and telling them silly stories about my school days. Gabe and Zoe asked me what my most embarrassing moment was and just thinking about it still made me blush. It happened 20 years ago and to this day it still reigns as my most embarrassing moment ever!

Anyway, I was a sophomore in high school at the first football game of the year, waiting in the bleachers for the flag ceremony. I was on the drill team and our coach wouldn't let us leave the bleachers because it would soon be time for us to line up for the flag ceremony (we always did some weird synchronized hand movement thingy before we saluted the flag and then proceeded to sing the National Anthem...yeah, don't ask.)

Well, Zeke and I had just started dating about 4 months before this.... and he had been at basic training for the National Guard in Oklahoma for the last 3 months... I wrote letters to him all summer. My Mom says I moped around my room and listened to "Nothing Compares 2 U" from Sinead O'Connor a few too many times... yeah I know I did. I was in LOVE!

Anyway, back to the football game, I knew Zeke was supposed to be coming home some time that weekend, so I kept looking over at the entrance gate for him. Suddenly, there he was and he was smiling and looking right at ME! um yeah, I TOTALLY wanted to see him! My drill mistress, Jenny, says, "Oh just sneak down between the bleachers and say HI, I'll cover for you." Well, I did! Zeke and I saw each other and I went running to him (like in a cheesy movie or something -- I like those movies, by the way). I wasn't paying attention to where the bleachers ended... I jumped up into his arms and hit my head on the metal framework underneath the bleachers so bad that I kinda passed out/fell into his arms AND split my dance unitard (full leotard) right, well, between my legs... it was beyond awful! I can only imagine what I looked like and what kind of leap I did to split my unitard that way. Oh man!

Somehow I made it back to my place on the bleachers and found a safety pin (probably from Jenny). I remember walking out on the field for the flag ceremony, totally seeing stars and tears of pain streaming down my face, with a big goose egg on my head... and a safety pin strategically placed in my unitard...

All for love...

Here we are about 3 months after the "bleacher incident"
at Zeke's first Military Ball...
(I was almost 16 and Zeke was 18)

*POSTSCRIPT: I talked to Zeke this afternoon about the "bleacher incident" and he says that I jumped up, hit my head, and fell on the ground when he was still about 20 feet away!! All I remember is waking up in his arms... I didn't know I hit the ground first! Oh man, now I just got embarrassed all over again!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Plastic Surgery...I triple dog dare you!

Going under the knife? Several years ago, someone told me I should have plastic surgery. They said to me right in front of a crowd of people I have a "big nose" and I should get a nose job. Now, I'm not going to lie to you... it literally destroyed any bit of self-esteem I might have had and it took me a long time to get over it. I've always been self-conscious about my nose.

According to the world's standards, I might have a less than "perfect" nose. But then again, I've always been a bit of a non-conformist when it comes to the ways of the world. Looking back, I'm actually thankful I had that experience. It just made me all the more stubborn and firmly resolved that I would NEVER change my nose. God gave me my nose for a reason and I truly believe that. It's me. Zeke says I look "exotic" (I love you, babe!) I think I look like I'm from a foreign country or maybe like one of those old Greek statues...
maybe?... anyway...I'm not actually talking about that kind of plastic surgery.
I'm SO not into that!

I'm talking about something infinitely more important, something that can bring lasting happiness, peace of mind, and financial security. I'm talking about the kind of plastic surgery that Elder Holland and so many other Prophets and Apostles have referred to:
Cutting up our credit cards!!

Elder Holland:
"As part of this general financial caution we encourage, if necessary, plastic surgery for both husband and wife. This is a very painless operation: Just cut up your credit cards. Unless you are prepared to use those cards under the strictest of conditions and restraints, you should not use them at all—at least not at high rates of interest. No convenience known to modern man has so jeopardized the financial stability of families, especially young struggling families, like the credit card.
Just as your religion should protect you against immorality and violence and other family tragedies, it will protect you against financial despair as well, if you will let it. Pay your tithes and offerings first. No greater financial protection can be offered you. Then simply budget what is left the rest of that month. Make do with what you have. Do without. Say no. You can hold your head high even if your clothing is not the most stylish nor your home the most regal. You can hold it high for the simple reason that it is not bent or bowed with the relentless burden of debt."

As I was serving in the Young Women organization, I felt very inspired and prompted to complete my Personal Progress. I really wanted to get "My Young Women" excited about Personal Progress. I thought the best way to do that would be by example. Well, it was an awesome life-changing experience to say the least!

One of the requirements was to "live within my means" for 3 months. OUCH! I instantly thought, "yeah right, that's only possible for single people without children, people who aren't in school, people who don't have high-deductible health insurance like we do" and on and on (I was making excuses). I seriously didn't think I'd be able to do it! But I knew if I wanted to receive my YW Recognition Award and show the girls "if I can do it, you can do it" then I would need to follow through and complete every part of the personal progress honestly and to the best of my ability.

So I gave it a try... I talked to Zeke and he was totally on board with it. I have always been the one "in charge" of the money (yeah, no pressure whatsoever, right?) I said a prayer (actually hundreds) and asked Heavenly Father to help us "live within our means" and to have faith. We cut up our credit cards and more importantly for us, we stopped using those stupid convenience checks they send in the mail. Oh, we always needed something. And even now, I have a list a foot long of things we need, but the question is: do we really need them right now? My perspective and the way I do things have completely changed. I have learned a great deal of patience and self-control.

Now I'm going to be honest, this has been one of the most-challenging and stressful years of my life (mostly because I'm suffering the consequences of past choices) but at the same time, this year has been one of THE most strengthening, miracle filled, spiritual, joyful/"peace of mind" kind of years I have ever had. Ever.

Since August 2009, we have not used a credit card for ANYTHING. Not once!
It has brought us the greatest blessings we have ever experienced. The continual peace and confidence we have felt is worth so much more than any fleeting thrill of buying something. We have changed how we do things and gone without some things people think they can't, but we have made our own fun and I think it's brought us closer as a family and made us more grateful for the little things in life. It's been hard, but with Heavenly Father's help, we've done it.
It IS possible!

Now, I know you're thinking of a million "reasons" why you need a credit card. Until last year, I was always making excuses, always justifying our use of credit cards (Zeke's still in school, our insurance premium went up, Zeke got another pay cut at work, the water heater is broken, the dishwasher is broken, doctor bills, Christmas presents, school pictures, or maybe I just don't feel like making dinner, etc, etc, etc.)

What I realized is that all of these excuses are really just a lack of Faith. You may think I'm simple minded, maybe I am, but the Lord has said he would provide for our needs (see 3 Ne. 13:28-34). Do we believe Him? Do we let Him help us? Or do we trust in the "arm of flesh" (see 2 Ne. 4:34) and swipe that little card every time we need an extra $20 for groceries, a tank of gas, or even a new water heater? Zeke and I were laughing about that analogy of trusting in the "arm of flesh"... I'm picturing my flabby "relief society arm" jiggling every time I swipe a credit card through that little machine... it makes me laugh every time!

After getting rid of all of our credit cards and truly living within our means for over a year, I came across a scripture that I don't recall ever reading before (maybe I wasn't ready for it yet): D&C 111:5: "Concern not yourselves about your debts, for I will give you power to pay them." To me, this was Heavenly Father telling me, okay, you're doing your part and now I can do mine. Good job!
I feel a greater peace than I have ever known in my life! I feel confident when I say my prayers and ask Heavenly Father to bless us and specifically to help us financially. I know we are doing our part and He will do His part. (see D&C 82:10)

I've realized that "living within our means" is a gospel principle we can be perfect at. Just like paying tithing, it is something we can either do or NOT do. There's no gray area (not anymore at least). I feel peace knowing that I am being obedient. I feel so grateful when I recognize the blessings that come pouring in because of my choice to "live within my means". We have been overwhelmed and amazed at the incredible miracles that have taken place in our lives this last year or so. Everything began to fall into place as soon as we took that leap of faith, got out our credit cards and did some serious plastic surgery!

Say a prayer and get out your scissors -- I triple dog dare you!!

"If you opt for any other way of life or try to live only the parts of the gospel that seem convenient, such a choice will cheat you of the full, resplendent joy and happiness for which you were designed by our loving Father in Heaven and His Son." -- Marcus B. Nash of the Quorum of the Seventy

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Confessions of a Book Snob, Seven Silly Eaters, and Tortellini Vegetable Soup

I was in a blogging frenzy last week.... this week, not so much. I've just been busy taking care of my children and my house and the million other little things that go along with it.
I'm feeling a little "link happy" this morning...
you have been warned.

Saturday night, we rented "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" from the Redbox. Zoe and Gabe have loved the books and we have been wanting to see it. We really enjoyed the movie, even though it strayed from the book quite a bit. I thought it was hilarious... some of you Moms out there may think a few scenes are a bit off-color or whatever... maybe you don't have sons, but it's okay, I forgive you. It's a cute family show and I would watch it again. Steve Zahn is the dad, and he is one of my all time favorite actors for sure. So funny!

I've decided I need to confess something... I am a total "BOOK SNOB". Yep, it's true. I'm sorry, I'm working on it. I get bugged when people freak out and gush and swoon over movies such as "Chronicles of Narnia", "Harry Potter", "The Lightning Thief", and now "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". I'm sure there's more... don't get me started. And I am happy so many people have enjoyed these movies and have been exposed to them, because they are such wonderful stories... but the books are SO MUCH BETTER!!! They are missing out... "The Lightning Thief" for example, is NOTHING like the book! Who is Clarisse? yeah, I bet most people don't know. I guess I just need to let it go.... my husband makes fun of me. I am obsessed with Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy books. I'm almost 36 years old, so maybe that's a little strange, but I don't care. Maybe you won't be as upset as I am when they leave out or change major parts of your favorite book. Then you don't know what's missing so you can just enjoy Annabeth, even though she isn't mean at all and she doesn't have brown hair! Yeah, I have a problem.

Just one more thing, "Dear screen play writers and movie producers, please take special care of my good friend, Fablehaven"!!

ok, breathe...... I'm good.

So now, I have a wonderful book, I want to recommend to you. It is one of our family's top ten favorites! It's called, "The Seven Silly Eaters". Read it, you will love it. It almost makes we want more children (I said ALMOST!) And I don't think anyone will ever make a movie of it for me to complain about either.
This is Kaia and me reading a book (July 2007-ish)

Tonight for dinner, I'm making one of my favorite soup recipes. I got it from my good friend and neighbor, Lorie. Thanks, Lorie.
It's called "Tortellini Vegetable Soup"

Here it is:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small zucchini, diced
5 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. salt
1 med. onion, chopped
1 med. carrot, peeled and diced
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
8-9 oz. fresh or frozen tortellini (meat or cheese filled)
3 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
black pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium soup pot. Add the vegetables (except tomatoes) and saute over moderate heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the stock, basil, bay leaf, tomatoes, and salt. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a low boil. Add the tortellini and bring the soup back to a low boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for another 5-6 minutes. Gently stir in the parsley and pepper during the last minute or so. Goes great with a big loaf of french bread :) Mmmmmm, I love soup in the fall!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

When I was much younger, I used to think that if I didn't "go out" on a Friday night I was "not cool". It doesn't bother me so much anymore, but last night Zeke had to work until 11pm. It's not so much that I wanted to go out and do something (we don't have extra cash for that right now anyway). I just wanted Friday to be special. We've been busy all week getting up early for school, doing homework, going to week night activities for the kids, and going to bed early; I wanted to celebrate or something!

I was sitting out on our deck watching the kids play, wondering what to fix for dinner, and feeling sorry for myself because we didn't have anything "special" planned and this is what I saw:
Kaia making "soup":
Kaia says, "It's water and rocks, Mom!"Beck filling his water table with rocks and water and playing with his little boats:
"Wook at doze boats, Mom!"
What a great night it turned out to be! I worked on some yummy homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes for dinner. We played outside until we got too hungry. I love the smell of my children when they've been playing outside all day. My wonderful friend, Nicki, called and asked if I could watch her little boy, Brody.
Beck LOVES to play with Brody.
We got into the Halloween stuff and played with the pumpkins:
Zoe designed yet another dress
(she says this one will be for her Prom):
Gabe and I had fun taking pictures of his hair:
I heard a great quote somewhere:
"Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it."
We did celebrate and Friday was special.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jingle Jangled

When I'm driving around town, I like to listen to the local radio stations. There's a furniture store here called "Edward's Furniture". They have a catchy little jingle, "Nobody cares like Edward's Home Furnishings!"

A few days ago, I could hear Kaia singing in her bedroom, "Nobody cares about Edward's Home Furnishings!" I had to laugh, just one little word changed and the jingle has an entirely different meaning.

Some people might feel that way about Edward's, but I have a special place in my heart for them and for one of the local radio stations, Q92. Every year, they get together and sponsor the "Edward's Furniture $10,000 Fully Furnished Fall". From September to November, thousands of people enter the contest. The winner gets to choose $10,000 of home furnishings! I have entered that contest every year for the last 8 years.

I just started my blog this May and I haven't posted much that happened before then, but last November (Friday the 13th to be exact) I actually won that contest! It is still hard for me to believe that it really happened. It was so amazing! We are so blessed. I truly believe I won that contest because we have been living within our means and had not purchased any new furniture for nearly 10 years. This is strange, but somehow I knew I was going to win. I just had a feeling.

At the time we didn't have a camera, so these pictures aren't the greatest. I went and got a disposable camera and when I scanned them in they were a bit crooked, but I don't care enough to redo it.
Here's our sectional and ottoman:
Our kitchen table (that we sold in July to help pay Zeke's tuition):
My bench is my favorite:

It was so awesome and surreal to have 3 delivery trucks pull up in front of my house and bring in all the new stuff! But maybe even more awesome was the fun we had the week before. Zeke and I decided if we won, we would give away all of our current furniture to people in our neighborhood. We felt like we had to give back in some way. This was truly something I will never forget! People were SO grateful. It was so fun! Our old furniture wasn't the greatest, but it was decent and free for the taking.

Winning this contest also explains why we had that fancy new table to sell in the midst of our financial troubles this year. Then, we were also incredibly blessed with good neighbors who gave us their old table. You get what you give :) Thanks again, Dan and Rachel, we love our "new" table.

If you want to enter this year's "Fully Furnished Fall",
go here or to one of the stores to enter.
GOOD LUCK!! You never know if you might be the lucky winner!

Monday, September 13, 2010

That We Might Have JOY

After we went Letterboxing on Saturday, Zeke had to work for "awhile" and the house was busy and loud and full of my children and their friends and lots of dirty dishes and laundry. I just wanted to curl up with my husband and family and watch a movie and forget about how much my children complained about "Mom's Nature Walk" and Zeke's job and Zeke's classes and how much time and gas money I've spent driving around town the last 2 weeks. I felt a little discouraged... don't get me wrong, I am so thankful Zeke has a good job. I am so thankful that he is willing and able to get an education. I am so thankful my children are healthy and life is good for the most part, but why is it so hard? I recall praying to Heavenly Father everyday for the last month: "please help me survive this day, please just help me get through this moment, help me get the kids to bed, help me remember this, help me fix dinner, help me stay awake, help me love my family, etc..."

I feel so overwhelmed as a Mother; I'm ashamed to admit that I always have. It just doesn't come naturally to me. I mean, I love my children more than anything and I would do anything for them and I want them to be happy, but when I hear other Mothers say how much they just "love BEING a Mother" I wonder what's wrong with me... Why don't I feel that way? Where can I find joy like that? There are small moments of joy and maybe I need to focus on those more, but it seems like they have been few and far between lately. I know, I know, I think of the quote from President Hinckley: "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

I know I said this a few posts ago, but Zeke is seriously working almost ALL the time. Right now, it's 9pm and he has been at work since 6am and he's still not home. By the time I get dinner fixed, kids bathed, homework done, dishes and laundry whittled down and such, I am too exhausted to feel joy. How do you do it? Some days I just feel like this isn't what I signed up for. Where can I get a transfer? (just kidding) I find myself wishing my days away and wanting time to pass and I know that is NOT how I should feel.

I know with all my heart and soul I'm supposed to be a stay at home mother... someday, I'll share that experience with you... but now that my oldest is 12... somewhere along the way, I thought things would get a little easier. I thought I'd have some experience and wisdom to draw from (ha ha ha) ... I would be so calm and patient and peaceful and JOYFUL. Why I expected things to get easier I don't know? But I wish it was, even just a little.

Let me remind you, I have a 2 year old boy... need I say more? And NONE of our children have ever been, what would you say "quiet", "calm", "passive", "complacent", "compliant", "normal"? (No, not one! They are all way too much like their parents I'm afraid, especially their mother!)

I'm just tired, I guess. I was really feeling sorry for myself Saturday night after I finally got all the kids to bed. I decided I would read the Ensign for awhile and see if that would help me feel better. You know those days when dinner's over and you want to put the kids to bed at 6pm? Yeah, it was one of those days... but I didn't actually get the kids in bed until about 10pm.

Well, I said my prayers to help me be a better Mother and to find something in the Ensign to help me keep going. I try so hard everyday, but when I fall into bed at night, I feel like a complete failure.

Anyway, I found an article in the September 2010 Ensign that was written just for me. It was!
It's called "That We Might Have Joy" by Andrea Jones. She talks about her struggles as a missionary... but it sounded just like my struggles as a Mother. She went to a Stake Conference seeking "the Joy" that everyone else was feeling. Her mission president spoke about the joy of Christ's redemption that each of us can feel every day. He testified that even during difficult and uncertain times, we can feel joy from understanding the significance of the Savior's Atonement. She said, "The joy I thought I had never experienced was all around me. I just hadn't opened my heart to feel it... since my mission I have come to understand that situations and surroundings have no lasting impact on our ability to feel joy." Wow!

So even though my life is totally CA-RAZY and completely exhausting right now, I can feel joy each day because of the knowledge and testimony I have of the Savior's Atonement. I can endure anything and still have joy knowing that I have a Redeemer. Knowing that I can repent, knowing that doing my best is enough. Somehow when I realized this, everything became so simple. I am so tired everyday, but I want to do my best. Thinking of the Savior and His eternal sacrifice for me makes me want to do more. "...It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23) Thank Heaven, literally.

PS I just wanted to add how amazing my husband is. Even though he's not home much right now, he is doing things for the good of our family. At the moment, we are kind of stuck in the middle of school and work and he keeps going! He's the one who's really exhausted :( I just woke up this morning and wanted to add this because Zeke is making a huge sacrifice too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Spanish Sweet Onion Letterbox

We went Letterboxing on Saturday! Thanks, Lara for the idea. It was so much fun. Just two things I would suggest: bring a compass and wear good shoes (I was wearing flip flops, don't ask me why). If you want to go letterboxing, here's what you do:
  • Go to and click on your state, and then your region to find clues.
  • Print out the clues, and make a plan.
  • Find some sort of notebook to be your letterboxing log, so you can keep track of the places you've been.
  • Find a stamp that represents your family or group (We chose a ladybug because that's what I found in my craft box and I like BUGS.)
  • Bring your stamp, an ink pad, your log book and a pen, and go discover your first letterbox!
First, we tried a Letterbox at "Denzil Stewart Nature Park" and couldn't find it... I'm hoping to contact the Placer and see what's up.
We looked and LOOKED, but no letter box.
It was so beautiful there. I didn't even know this park existed until today.

We found a HUGE slug (seriously it was twice as wide as and longer than my finger!) I lifted up a big rock and saw something breathing... I poked it with my finger and it started writhing around. Needless to say, I let out a little scream! Can you see the leopard patterned creature by the little red piece of tree branch?
That's him!
He's kinda cute....

We decided to go to the second area. We found the "Spanish Sweet Onion Letterbox" near Willow Park. When you find the letterbox, you stamp the book, date it, and many people also wrote in where they are from. I saw stamps from Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, and all over Utah of course. Who knew? Many of the stamps had group names
too, so we decided our name would be the "SLUG BUGS".
I was SO excited to find the letterbox! Inside the letterbox was a sweet onion stamp (hence the name) and I stamped that in my book and dated when we found it.
At the pond, we saw lots of big dragonflies, some ducks,
and even a muskrat swimming around in the water! We also found a frog...
Zeke did NOT eat it, I promise!
What an awesome day! I can't wait to go again. Thanks to my family for going along with me :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

sphenopalatine gangleoneuralgia

LOOK OUT! It's coming to a brain near you..... I don't have it (yet), but I wish I did (sorta). Yeah, I'm a big "word nerd" and I love the word "sphenopalatine gangleoneuralgia" it's the scientific term for "brain freeze" or "ice cream headache". Pretty cool, eh?
If you read further on the link, you'll see that pressing your tongue up to the roof of your mouth can help get rid of brain freeze. I've tried it before and it helps a bit. It's better not to let the ice cream touch the roof of your mouth in the first place!

Brain freeze is the worst!
But oh, how I love ice cream...
I would have to say one of my favorite flavors is definitely cookie dough, what's your favorite?I might just have some before the kids get home from school...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Reason

You know that great song from Hoobastank,
"The Reason"?
Every time I hear it, I think of Jesus.
I know that might sound silly,
but the words describe exactly how I feel.
I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to You
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is You

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do
And the reason is You

Friday, September 3, 2010

Back to School Blunder

Ok, so the kids have been in school for 2 weeks now... I thought I posted a picture? Nope. I think it must have slipped my mind because my Dad was in the hospital that week. Anyway, better late than never, right? Aren't they getting big? Gabe is in 7th grade now and he insisted this picture was enough. He was really excited to see all of his friends.

Zoe and her new teacher, Mrs. Olsen

Kaia and her new teacher, Mrs. Lloyd
(she was also Zoe's first grade teacher)

And here's Beck after everyone was gone the first day...
he had the recliner and TV all to himself for once.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Letterboxing, hummus, and rocks at my window...

Happy September! I really love the cooler weather. I'm going to try and get some yard work done..."You try, you sit, this is about DOING!" I love that quote. Okay, I'll commit myself to DOING some yard work this fall (I didn't say how much though!)

I like to try new things. I'm anxious to try something I've never heard of: Letterboxing. I've been reading a blog called "Overstuffed" and it is FABULOUS! Earlier this week, Lara and her family shared their hobby of letterboxing. It looks pretty easy and really fun. Depending on Zeke's work schedule this week (oh, boy!), I'd like to go letterboxing. I'll let you know how it goes.

On Tuesday, I got to try a new food: HUMMUS. My brother keeps telling me I should try it. You were right, Brady, it was really yummy. My friend, Julie, makes her own and we ate it on wheat thins. Good stuff! But just for the record, I like garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)... so that might influence your opinion about hummus.

Ok, for the next part of my post, I'll call it a "Choose your own Adventure" (I used to love those books!) Choose wisely.... it may save you 5 minutes and keep you from hearing me whine.

Choice 1: I'll paraphrase the rest of my week: blah blah blah, murmur murmur murmur, waaah. Done.

Choice 2: ok, I told you it was your choice.... this is serious whining here:

Well, the new stuff has helped me cope with the "old" this week. I am such a baby. YES, it's true. Zeke started school again on Monday. It is his LAST semester though... but everything changes when Zeke is in school. I know it's important that he graduates, so for now, I'm just going to bite my tongue really hard and hang on until December. HELP!

It doesn't help that his job is INSANE. Ok, I am thankful he has a good job, but when they have a project deadline... yeah, let's just say it's not my favorite. My week has been so crazy, I can't remember what happened on what day. Zeke has been going to work at 6am (thanks for the rides to work, Paul). We are a one car family now (by choice) and wow, I am spoiled. I've been taking Zeke to school and picking him and the kids up this week -- about one hour round trip, not including other errands and activities. That's ok. But poor Zeke hasn't been coming home until 2 or 3 in the morning.... yes, you read that right. He goes to work at 6am and comes home at 2am the next day. (so that's like a 20 hour shift -- too bad he doesn't get paid by the hour!) So here I am feeling sorry for myself... it helps to write things down and get them in proper perspective. It's been a long week, the kids are missing their Dad and I am just plain worn out.

Anyway, one night/morning I went to bed and left the door unlocked for Zeke, because he left his keys here. I figured he'd be home soon and well, open the door. Around 3am I was sleeping soundly for once (and probably snoring too) and I could hear little taps on my window. It startled me, because our bedroom is on the second floor. The more awake I became, I realized someone was throwing rocks at my window. Now, under different circumstances it might have been romantic. But I don't think I've caught up on my sleep since 1998, so I was NOT pleased. I got up and opened the window and said, "The door's open." Zeke said, "Are you sure?" For those of you that do not know me, this is one of my LEAST favorite things to hear! For those who do know me and wonder why I suddenly get bugged, I really am sorry, I know I'm a brat and I'm working on it.

Anyway, Zeke was tired and so was I. Zeke came in and felt bad for waking me up. He went right to sleep like he almost always does. And me, well, I have this dumb habit I don't know how to fix or stop. My Mom is the same way. If I wake up in the middle of the night (to go to the bathroom or to help a crying child or to see who's throwing rocks at my window) I CANNOT for the life of me go back to sleep! It's awful! I'm still very tired, but my brain wakes up and I can't shut it off. Any suggestions, please? So let's just say, I was not 100% yesterday, oh yeah, that would have been Tuesday then. When the alarm went off at 6:30 I wanted to cry...

Ok, phew, I'm done whining for now.

One last quote to kick me out of this negative rut:
"If you can laugh at it, you can live with it." -- Marjorie Hinckley

Zeke: I love you, babe, we'll get through this... I hope! Thanks for ALWAYS making me laugh.
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